American Express GBT acquires travel management agency

American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) today (23 May) announced it has signed an agreement to acquire SMT, a travel management company (TMC) based in Helsinki, Finland, and a subsidiary of Finnair.

SMT has been a partner within the GBT network for 27 years. The transaction is expected to complete later this year, with the staff formally joining the GBT family.

Elyes Mrad, GBT’s managing director for EMEA, said: “SMT is a natural fit with GBT. Companies and organisations in Finland and around the world will continue to benefit from SMT’s local expertise, and the advantages of GBT’s global scale and access.”

Steven Curts, GBT’s chief strategy officer,  described the purchase of SMT as “an exciting milestone” on a strategic journey.

SMT was formed in 2013 after the merger of the two largest Finnish-owned business travel agencies, Area Travel Agency and Finland Travel Bureau.

Kirsi Paakkari, head of SMT, said: “Joining GBT accelerates our progress. We have motivated, productive and innovative employees. Our dynamic business style, combined with GBT’s resources, will make us a powerful and effective business travel partner for companies across Finland.”

GBT plans to close the transaction in the third quarter of 2016.

Emily King

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Emily King

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